The first Conference of the Parties (COP1) to the Minamata Convention on Mercury, met on Tuesday, 26 September 2017 in the Committee of the Whole (COW), and discussed thresholds, contaminated sites, financial rules, the Implementation and Compliance Committee, the Programme of Work and budget, and emissions guidance, among others.
Contact groups on the financial mechanism and reporting met during the day, with a newly established contact group on technical issues convening in the evening. A Friends of the Chair group also met on the sidelines of the meeting to continue consideration of the secretariat functions.
Delegates also engaged in a thematic dialogue on air during the lunch break, and attended a Minamata Convention Initial Assessment (MIA) clinic. In the evening, the Government of Switzerland hosted a reception fondly known as a “Swiss Break.”
Delegates recognized Argentina and Croatia for ratifying the Convention, bringing the total ratifications to date to 83.
IISD Reporting Services, through its Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) Meeting Coverage, provided daily web coverage and daily reports for COP1. The summary and analysis is now available in HTML and PDF.
Photos by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Morning Session - Committee of the Whole (COW)
View of the dais during the morning COW
Fernando Lugris, Uruguay, COW Chair
María Florencia Grimalt, Argentina
Alexandr Solovianov, Basel Convention Regional Center (BCRC) Russian Federation
Gregor Filyk, Canada, Co-Chair of the Financial Mechanism Contact Group
César Murillo Juárez, Mexico
Osvaldo Patricio Álvarez Pérez, Chile
Kouame Georges Kouadio, Côte d'Ivoire
Ali Al Ghamdi, Saudi Arabia
Hiroshi Nishida, Mayor of Minamata City, is welcomed to plenary
Vinicius Trindade, Brazil
Oleg Pecheniuk, Independent Ecological Expertise (IEE)
Elena Lymberidi-Settimo, Zero Mercury Working Group
Christoffer Back Vestli, Norway
Aneta Willems, EU
Afternoon Session - COW
View of the dais during afternoon COW
Juan Miguel Cuna, the Philippines, speaking on behalf of the UNEP Global Mercury Partnership Advisory Group (PAG)
Philip Weech, the Bahamas
Georg Karlaganis, UN Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
Rodica Ella Ivan, UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
César De las Casas, Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO)
Gillian Guthrie, Jamaica
Jorge Ocaña, UNITAR, speaking on behalf of the Inter-Organization Programme for the Sound Management of Chemicals
Contact Groups Throughout the Day
Contact Group on Financial Mechanism
Contact Group on Reporting
Fernando Lugris, Uruguay, COW Chair, and Franz Perrez, Switzerland, welcome delegates to the Swiss Break
Traditional Swiss wrestling
Around the Venue
Members of the interim Secretariat meet informally before the start of plenary
Kei Ohno, BRS Secretariat, and Karissa Kovner, US
Jacob Duer, Principal Coordinator, Interim Secretariat of the Minamata Convention; John Roberts, UK, Co-Chair of the former Best Available Technologies/ Best Environmental Practices (BAT/BEP) Expert Group; John Whitelaw, Consultant with the Interim Secretariat, and Fernando Lugris, Uruguay, COW Chair
Delegates refer to the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) website to keep track of negotiations
Georg Karlaganis, UNITAR, and Mohammed Khashashneh, Jordan
Delegates between sessions
In an interactive display hosted by IDEA Consultants and Nippon Instruments Corporation (NIC) from Japan, delegates are able to test the levels of mercury found in their body through a hair test - a hair sample is collected, weighed and sent into an incinerator where the mercury is released in a gas form. Using a gold amalgamation, the mercury is then extracted, allowing delegates to know their mercury levels within 6 minutes.